The mobility, that makes the world turn around:


The mobility, that makes the world turn around:

EU4Culture’s input in the exchange of Arts and Culture

What the modern world is striving at is individual experiences rather than standardized solutions which were largely common in yesterday’s world. The arts and culture are a domain where new and deeply personal sensations and explorations are at the core. 

Text : Tigran Zakaryan


It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that travel and meaningful exchange are what abundantly provide new vibes and enrich a person, and without this, any culture excluded from contact will sooner or later wane out and degenerate. 

Willingly or unwillingly, we exchange our ideas, and thoughts, bringing our experience on an everyday basis with other people and internalizing their experiences and practices. Imagine how efficient it could be if done in a more systematized, meaningful, and arranged way, which precisely selected targets and clearly identified areas. 

Funded by the European Union (EU), the EU4Culture project, in the framework of its Mobility Grants Scheme, supported 76 professionals from the cultural and creative sectors in Armenia. As a result, they have been able to implement their mobility projects to the European Union or the countries of the Eastern Partnership by covering their travel and accommodation expenses.


The scheme launched in 2021, so far had four Calls, providing support for selected candidates in Armenia to implement their residencies and/or research activities in the EU or the countries of the Eastern Partnership. This mobility scheme contributed to building new partnerships and cooperation models with young and experienced artists and culture professionals. The contacts and international collaborations between individuals from different European countries are among the top priorities of the project.

“Why mobility? It is a healthy injection into creativity, promoting growth and development. The participants of the mobility projects, discover and learn new things, participate in interesting events, conduct their research, exhibit their works. Sustainability is also an important dimension so we were sure that the grants allocated will contribute to the development of the field in general”, says Marine Karoyan, the EU4Culture National Coordinator for Armenia.

She is also frank about some problems that many potential candidates experience. It looks like some participants experienced problems with the format of the grant scheme, while some find it hard to focus on any precise project. 
“Sometimes it is a language barrier, however, that is the easiest part; you can always find a friend who can fill out an application form for you in good English. The thing is about you and the project you have in mind. What do you want to achieve with your mobility and how feasible is your project? These are the fundamental questions for participation in the scheme,” Marine underlines.

There are remarkable success stories achieved within this mobility scheme both among experienced and young professionals in the cultural sphere.

Vahram Martirosyan, a renowned author, translator, and one of the very few knowledgeable people on Hungary in Armenia, visited that country. His project was on four Hungarian intellectuals of the 20th century, whose anti-totalitarian literature has a lot to tell Armenian readers. During his visit, Mr. Martirosyan had the opportunity to intensively discuss the details of the life and literary legacy of the protagonists of his project as well as visit relevant museums and archives. Martirosyan says he had a unique interaction with people who were personally or professionally related to those authors. The Armenian author says that it greatly helped him to delve deeper into the time and thoughts of his protagonists. Occasional attendance of the poetry evenings of the Versopolis literary festival in Budapest was an unexpected yet very much welcome bonus for his research trip. 

“My visit to Budapest was immensely fruitful in terms of the valuable advice I received from experts and the exceptional information shared by eyewitnesses, which significantly enriched my essays. For the first time in the realm of literary criticism, we delved into and discussed my heroes’ endeavours to combat censorship, ethnic discrimination, and class disparities. The experience also extended to the development of horizontal, post-colonial, cross-cultural connections, fostering communication between small countries like Armenia and Hungary. This interaction allowed for a deeper understanding of shared struggles and literary experiences.” Vahram confesses. 

The outcome of the project is four essays published in Armenian media.

Aghasi Tadevosyan, a renowned cultural anthropologist in the framework of the EU4Culture’s mobility project, has spent quite some time in Salzburg and nearby localities thoroughly exploring local museums and holding productive encounters with specialists in the preservation of cultural heritage. The experience in Austria, Aghasi believes, will contribute to the development of specific patterns of cultural preservation in rural and urban areas in Armenia. 

His visit has contributed a lot to the advancement of a joint Armenian-Austrian project on the preservation of cultural heritage in the bordering regions of Armenia. The experience gained in Austria will contribute to the reconceptualization and reinvigorating of some of the museums and home museums located in different bordering regions of Armenia. In a captivating remark, Aghasi notes: “The experience of Austrian museums in co-opting natural landscapes for creating their own cultural environment was invaluable. Such observations made during this study offer valuable insights for the development of future project proposals.” 

The project supports not only long-term and mid-term mobility projects, but also short-term ones, typically covering expenses related to a conference, workshop, or a similar event for professionals. Tatevik Saroyan, PhD, from Matenadaran on the Armenian trajectory of the coffee culture. 


Thanks to the Mobility project, she was able to attend a major triennial event in Prague, hosted by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) General Assembly. The event gathered over 3,000 guests and participants from various international institutions. “My presentation stirred the curiosity of my international colleagues, many of whom were discovering for the first time the significant role that Armenians played in establishing the first cafés and coffee shops in cities such as London, Marseille, Paris, Vienna, and Prague during the 17th and 18th centuries,” Tatevik says. 

After the conference, Tatevik had an opportunity to visit a historical café in Vienna, originally opened in the 17th century by Hovhannes Astvatsaturyan, still operating now as a restaurant. The management of the café was interested in collaboration with archival materials, which as Tatevik says could be a significant contribution to her PhD project. 

The Mobility scheme looks like a success, and hopefully, it will continue beyond 2024, which is the end term of the scheme. Vibrant cultural contacts are even more needed in the times we live in, for the betterment of life across the whole world.
EU4Culture is a four-year project funded by the European Union to support the culture and creative sector with a special focus on non-capital cities and towns in the Eastern Partnership Countries. The project is implemented by Goethe-Institut (Lead), Czech Centers, Danish Cultural Institute and Institut Français de Géorgie. Since its inception, EU4Culture has successfully launched four mobility grant calls, supporting the mobility projects of 295 individuals.

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